Thursday, November 13, 2008
I love bright colorful packaging! Tony the Tiger, the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee dude, Toucan Sam - I love them all. Cereal boxes in particular are one of my favorite items to recycle - as you can see in Craft's recent green issue. The graphics on the outside of the boxes add snap crackle and pop to any project and these containers of cereal have structural value long beyond their first life.
Then there's statistics. About 40% of landfill volume is packaging. Holy cardboard! This brings us to the question of whether packaging should be made in the first place. Granted a certain amount of packaging is necessary to transport objects home, but by offering clever reuse solutions are we giving manufacturers encouragement to continue to overpackage goods? Do we really need 20 twist ties to hold down a single toy doll? Should instead we encourage packages to be more reusable? Design the first life with the second life in mind? Should all packaging be biodegradable? Then should composting collection for packaging start to be put in place? Whew - one solution creates another need.
Which comes first - the chicken packaged in biodegradable packaging or the egg carton that can be turned into game play?
Mancala egg carton image from This into That Garbage Games book